A Pembroke Dock man died of an accidental overdose, a coroner’s court has heard.

The body of Paul Thomas, 43, of Bush Street, Pembroke Dock, was found at his home on the morning of Saturday, July 27.

At an inquest held last week, Jeremy Davies, coroner’s officer for Dyfed-Powys Police, said Mr Thomas had turned to drugs after his health had forced him to stop working.

Mr Thomas suffered from chronic joint issues, with pain at the base of his back thought to be caused by a hereditary condition.

The court heard that Mr Thomas started to use cannabis for pain relief before moving onto other substances.

Mr Davies said: “The joint issues began when he was in his 30s.

“He had always liked a drink, and his family had a perception of him being a social drinker.

“Other than cannabis for pain relief they were not aware of any other substance use. In fact, they were certain he was always anti-drugs and could not stand needles.”

Mr Davies said that Mr Thomas moved on to smoking crack cocaine, and took methadone, valium and amphetamines.

Mr Thomas’ drug use increased with the levels of pain he experienced in the weeks before his death.

The evening before he died, Mr Thomas’ had spent the evening with his friends but was unable to get out of bed due to pain in his back.

Mr Thomas was found by friends on the morning of November 28, who called for an ambulance and attempted CPR.

A toxicology report showed methadone, cocaine, morphine, codeine, benzodiazepines and paracetamol.

Mark Layton, the coroner for Pembrokeshire, said the report indicated the use of heroin and cocaine before death, and the mix of drugs may have affected the central nervous system and lead to respiratory depression.

“I think this is an accidental overdose taken by a person who was in a great deal of pain and used with these drugs to deal with it,” Mr Layton said.

Recording his conclusion, Mr Layton said Mr Thomas’ death was drugs-related by an accidental overdose.

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